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Module 3: Mediatization - Implications for politics, news media and the public

All democratic systems are confronting the increasingly powerful role of the media in politics. The decline of party-controlled media and the rise of independent, commercially minded media have transformed mass communication. As an increasingly independent power center, mass communication today operates autonomously, according to its own economic and symbolic logic.

Module 3 seeks to understand the nature, significance, and consequences of this mediatization of politics in which many political processes have grown more or less dependent on the mass media and their specific media logics. Four intercorrelated projects examine different dimensions of mediatization - contents, actors, institutions and audiences of political communication:

IP 7 examines through a study across nations and across time whether the media content is governed by a media logic as opposed to a political logic.

IP 8 addresses the question of whether interest groups as an important kind of political organizations are governed by a political logic or by media logic.

IP 9 analyzes whether political institutions such as decision-making systems are affected by a media logic.

IP 10 focuses on the question of whether the media constitute a dominant and influential source of political information and opinion , especially in the socialization processes of younger citizens.

With these four projects, the researchers of Module 3 thus continue their assessment of the threats and opportunities for democracy linked to the challenge of mediatization, begun in Phase I (2005-2009).

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Module 3

Module 3

Module leader: Heinz Bonfadelli

IP 7: Mediatization of political reality: Implications of media-centered reporting styles for democracy
Project leader: Frank Esser

IP 8: Mediatization of political interest groups: Changes of organizational structure and communication repertoire
Project leaders: Patrick Donges / Otfried Jarren

IP 9: The mediatization of political decision-making
Project leaders: Pascal Sciarini / Anke Tresch

IP 10: Mediatization of political attitudes: Becoming a democratic citizen in a multi-media environment
Project leaders: Heinz Bonfadelli / Frank Esser / Claes de Vreese